Wednesday, March 21, 2007

i, like john berryman, am a published poet

Ain't that a kick in the head....that's a phrase, right? For something unexpected and good, something kind of jaunty or whatnot?

Me, I don't like to be kicked in the head. But proverbially, it's pretty good! And a kick in the head is, my friends the League of Concerned Citizens about Literature had a thing where they wanted submissions for this public health project. Poems about toothbrushing or safe sex or handwashing and stuff like that.

So a long time ago I sent them a thing I wrote about handwashing. And I just now heard that it will be published on some kind of placards somewhere and put somewhere for people to see while they wash their hands!

Maybe everybody who sent something in gets to be on something somewhere. OR MAYBE MY POEM IS AWESOME. Or maybe the pickings were skinny.

This is my poem:

I Sing of Soaps and the Hand

This isn't a poem, it's a fact. I sing of soaps and the hand. I will tell you about the greatest handwashing of my life. It was at Mrs. Newoman's office, in her house which she shared with her small grandson.
The soap:
Jason's Lavender. The handtowel: old, small and violet. On the sink: a little blank mother goddess and child doll. By the sink: a little red stepstool for the boy I never saw. In the tub: boats. On the window: hanging necklaces. Through the window: leaves. What it was like: who says I cannot wash my hands twice? What it was like: does it matter that I am too tall for this stepstool? What it was like: I will stand on the stepstool, stoop and soap. I bought a little mother goddess, I bought Jason's Lavender soap. I installed them in my bathroom.

But you know and I know that it was not the same.

But far more awesome is this scrap of a John Berryman poem. Never read him until tonight. This bit is from The Dream Songs. It's my new something. My new anthem or something! It also would be my new email signature if it fit. But it's too long. But I might tack it on to some emails anyway. I would like to be associated with it. Dave showed these poems to me, and then had me listen to a recording of John Berryman reading one of his poems. I would link you to it but I don't know where we were and Dave is asleep now. But I bet you can make that happen if you really want it to. AND YOU REALLY WANT IT TO.

I don't operate often. When I do,
persons take note.

Nurses look amazed. They pale.

The patient is brought back to life, or so.

And now, because I imagine that you enjoy good things as much as I do,

LOOK AT FINN, who is apparently a poem about toothbrushing:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


We finally saw CASINO ROYALE. First movie since the baby was born ten and a half months ago. We saw with our EYES at a MOVIE THEATER with POPCORN. !

Man, that was the movie to see. If we're only going to see one movie a year, we chose well. Because it's five movies worth of good. I actually wept. Twice. At a James Bond movie.

God, I love seeing movies. I love coming out of the theater with my senses heightened. I love that feeling where you're walking around after the movie and you feel light on your feet and keen and aware and panther-like. You see better, hear better. We stopped at the Barnes and Noble after the movie, and I was gliding through the store like a secret agent, clocking the place from the down escalator. Man in a hat in the computer books section....I have my eye on you if you pull something funny. Lady in the black crocheted sweater over in reference....wait, she's one of ours. It's like I swallowed James Bond in the theater and he was looking out of my eyes. I love that strange thing that happens. The residue.

Can't wait for next year when we see another one.

Turning to hair news, I got a haircut from the same lady who gave me the cut I loved so much the last time.

Not so much.

She said to me, "I don't like cutting bangs. They didn't really teach us very much about that at the school." She said it to me while she was cutting my bangs. Um, hey. That's, hey. Thank you for confiding in me. What a compliment.

I had been telling her earlier how much I loved my last haircut and she was like, "They don't all love 'em! This one lady, she told me that she likes her bangs [!] like this...and I cut them like that [the opposite way]...and at the end of the haircut I asked how she like it and she was like, oh, it's you know that's never good." Yeah, that's not too good. To do the opposite thing from what your client desires. That is weirdly not good for business a little, isn't it.

And while my hair was wet, I thought it was looking all right. So while she was cutting it, I said, "I can tell that this is going to be good," and she was like, "Oh really?" and then just suddenly put down her scissors. Like that was it. The haircut was over. And hey, what do I know? I didn't know if there was more to do to make it look good! I didn't know until it was too late.

It's wack. The bangs are way too short, the sides are stupid and squared-off against my face in a hostile manner. I look like...okay, I don't look exactly like Frankenstein, but I could go to a Frankenstein family reunion and be in a big group photo off to the right somewhere, and I could reasonably pass as a distant cousin.

The search continues.